A while ago a critic erm really likes (Film Crit Hulk – think the Hulk but smart-sounding and all caps all the time on film stuff) got sussed out on twitter over a tweet about how he thought maybe a lot of the young women supporters of Bernie Sanders were supporters out of some psychological mommy-issue stuff. He was going for “Isn’t it interesting that we can now talk about daddy issues affecting political leanings/voting choices with women and a female candidate” but obviously it didn’t work out.
Sure, he probably deserved to be sussed out. But he apologized almost immediately, and not just with “omg I’m sorry I’m sorry” – he scrutinized his tweet and reworded criticism of it, which showed that he got why people were angry and, to me at least, this seemed like the kind of genuine apology that should calm the rage fires? Maybe?
In the midst of all of this twitter kerfuffle, I noticed that a lot of people seemed to take issue with a piece Film Crit Hulk wrote years ago about rape and rape culture. Here it is in sentence case.
I think the piece is brilliant. It’s eloquent and thought provoking and somehow this unknown film person in the persona of a Hulk who talks beautifully in all caps about mostly movies managed to put into words how I feel day to day about some of my lived experiences.
His 50% theory rang so true to me and it was a concept I’d never been able to articulate before, even to myself. I’ve shared this article many times, with my sister and mother who both really liked it, and once during an argument with a distant cousin about the Ke$ha/Sony thing. Long story short: distant cousin felt bad for Dr. Luke because he’s been branded a rapist when he hasn’t been convicted and maybe she was just looking for a novel way to get out of the contract. SSDD, as they say in Dreamcatcher.
I thought that last share was a good one. Though I don’t know the kid well, or maybe because I don’t know the kid well, I couldn’t bring myself to just say “Why are you so afraid of rape accusations that you’re derailing this conversation I MEAN REALLY” so instead I said, “Hey, you should check out this really eloquent and thought-provoking piece written by this guy pretending to be the Hulk as a film critic written in all caps!”
I hope he did really read it, and that he learned something, because I think ultimately misguided young men with what they think are good intentions are the intended audience.
I would never presume to say that this piece is immune from criticism. I’ve seen the term “tone-deaf” used, connected with the sort-of point that a genre-superhero character persona and an ALL CAPS style is simply not good enough of a form for this sort of dissertation. I don’t really think that’s a good argument, but I’m sure there are people who had gut reactions of revulsion at the form of the piece and I just haven’t found their articulations of it yet, or they didn’t feel like articulating it yet. I would assume that my difference of opinion is because I’m a genre person, and others may not be.
But I will concede right away that while I haven’t actually seen criticism of the piece that makes any sense to me (and I’ve searched), that doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist, and it doesn’t mean that it isn’t valid.
But. OK. I saw this just recently.
This is in response to a critique of trauma narrative that questions the ethics of confession narratives of women. Honestly, I read the article first (which is how I found the mess underneath that I’ll show you) and I was a little put off but that’s really neither here nor there because if anything, throwing in references to Film Crit Hulk’s piece sort of derails her whole point. Maybe. I don’t know.
Anyway, it’s easier for me to point to a couple of “hilarious” response tweets.
Because, do you get it? Some forms just aren’t worthy of the big discussions.
As far as I can tell they’re all men, and the conversation devolved further into jokes about how they don’t like that he writes really long essays.
The author of the article didn’t participate. Obviously.
I don’t understand what their point is. If they’re trying to joke about how Hulk’s form is inappropriate just how appropriate is hijacking the mentions of an article about the difficulties of sensitively discussing rape confession narratives for a platform for those jokes (which in my humble opinion are vile), do they think?
My knee jerk assumption would be that they’re claiming the moral high ground for various reasons. Some of them don’t like Hulk’s boss for reasons I don’t care about. Some of them don’t like that he said stuff about Bernie Sanders (I’m… assuming). I’m sure some of them are legitimately appalled by the form of the piece. And maybe I can relate; after all, I was legitimately appalled by this mess.
All I know is, if I have to sit through episodes of Game of Thrones that are horrendous at depicting rape sensitively, I’d like to keep my genre things that get the topic right. At least from my perspective.
ps: do read that essay if you haven’t. I think it’s more than worth it, and it has stuck with me since I first encountered it.
***UPDATE: So yeah, it’s the dirtbag left, is what I figured out eventually. Y’know, courting right wing voters by being fiercely anti-identity politics and also being giant douche canoes. Foolproof strategy, boys. That’ll make ’em embrace socialism.